Hick, Boit, and 2000 Owners Tips needed - getting inside to check counterbalancer key

8 replies to this topic
  • Boomer

Posted February 05, 2002 - 02:05 PM


Well, I'm finally ready to pull the side cover and outer case to have a look at my CB key. I acquired some 5.1mm key stock, plus a stock key that measures just under 5mm. So, I sould be prepared no matter what I find there.

Can the clutch basket be removed as an assembly? Either way, is there a simple tool I can fabricate to hold the clutch while I break loose the nut? I don't have a clutch tool.

Once I get past the clutch, I see by the manual there are several gaskets, o-rings, and 2 oil seals that are recommended for repacement. They probably are not all that expensive, but I'm wondering if the oil seals really need to be replaced.

A lot of little parts inside there - so I'm hoping I can get at what I need to take care of and button it back up the same day - (must be getting old tinking I'll forget how everything goes back together).

Also, I'm hoping I'll discover what has been making the ticking noise, although be it on the CS side - I can hear this when I spin the rear wheel and the bike is in neutral.

Any tips or clues would be greatly appreciated.


(not a baby boomer)

  • Hick

Posted February 05, 2002 - 04:15 PM


“The noise” a worn CB drive gear key makes is created by the oscillation of the counter balancer with respect to the rotation of the crank, and sounds like (bad) valvetrain noise to most guys who’ve heard it. To and fro once every revolution, you can see how this is a problem that sort of feeds itself, and also why it sounds like a bad cam bearing or something. But if there is no play between the counter balancer shaft and the crank then a bad key is not the source of your noise.

Also, “the noise” only occurs when the motor is running, which doesn’t describe your noise. Maybe you are hearing more than one noise Boomer? Do people in your head tell you to do things? :) Just kidding bud.

I should point out that you can also diagnose a worn CB drive gear key by removing the mag cover and flywheel, and see if you can feel any play in the counter balancer from that side. Seems like an easier way to check it (provided you have a flywheel puller).

Hope this helps.

  • JBM

Posted February 06, 2002 - 05:24 AM


To remove the clutch hub nut you can either use an impact wrench, air or electric, and it will spin it right off. Or you can put the bike in gear and put a long rod or screwdriver through the rear wheel on the rim lock and the swingarm and that works fine.

If your careful you shouldn't have to replace any gaskets or o-rings, I didn't and I've had my side cover off twice. You may want to replace the lock nut on the clutch hub and there's also one on the main gear next to the CB gear, it's not completely necessary but probably a good idea.

Make sure you get all the clutch plates coated in oil before you put it back.

Then again, like Hick said, that might not be your problem at all, but it can't hurt checking it out. And you'll get to inspect your clutch plates, basket, and hub at the same time.

  • Boomer

Posted February 06, 2002 - 06:55 AM


O.K. - Thanks very much guys.

I didn't mean to indicate that I think the ticking noise I'm hearing is asociated with the possible CB key wear - I know they're not related.

Hick - I have a gear puller - used it years ago for a steering wheel - but I'm not sure it would work on my bike. I guess if my motor sounds O.K., then I shouldn't worry much about the CB key shearing off or something. But with all the talk and cautions about the subject, I thought I'd be better off looking now - plus maybe I'd discover what is causing the ticking noise - I think it's gear groove / shifter fork related - but I'm not sure.

My bike was/is a mid-2000 model - and my clutch never developed any grabbiness or any other problems, so I'm thinking mine wasn't one of the 50 or so that had bad baskets.

I think I should still go in and have a look around. The bikes runs and shifts fine. Other than a BK mod (P38 was not effective)I will have in process shortly.

What would you guys do?

Thanks again,

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  • Boit

Posted February 06, 2002 - 07:16 AM


I'm not sure what that noise could be either but it certainly wouldn't hurt to take a look at the CB shaft and clutch. Like JBM, I also use an pneumatic impact to get the large nut off. It spins off in a hurry. I also picked up an adjustable strap wrench from Sears that I use to hold the hub when reassembling.

  • Scott_F

Posted February 06, 2002 - 10:12 PM


Boomer, definitely check out the CB key. I would replace it regardless. Before you pull the drive gear on the crank, grab the driven gear on the CB and check for rotational play. If there is ANY movement, your key is shot. BTW, you don't need a gear puller for this job.

Here's an easy trick for loosening and tightening the crank nut. Place a small screwdriver in between the teeth of the primary and clutch basket gear, like this:


That will prevent them from rotating while you torque the nut down.

  • Hayseed

Posted February 06, 2002 - 12:47 PM


Originally posted by Boomer:
I think I should still go in and have a look around. The bikes runs and shifts fine.

What would you guys do?

Thanks again,


It depends on how worried I was about this noise. The only way to really check your transmission is to split the cases, not a fun job (for the avg. non-masochist, that is). You can’t really discover too much from the left side. If you want to check for a bent shift fork/rubbing dogs (click-click-click-click) or bad bearings you pretty much have to split the cases.

As far as that “bad batch of clutch baskets” thing I don’t know about that. I ruined my basket when that &%# straight key wore and worked the main shaft lock nut loose, causing the lock-tab washer to collide with the basket.

My clutch worked much, much better with the Hinson basket BTW, and if I were to ever replace the clutch in my ’00 I would look into swapping the changed parts from ’01 in there. Do a search on “clutch swap” or something and you should easily turn up the necessary part numbers. Just a few plates and I think you need the actuator rod also.

Plus I agree with Scott F, I don’t trust that &%# straight key for five seconds and think it warrants inspection regardless. To that end I’m not sure I would try pulling my flywheel with a “normal” two or three prong puller. I think it would work but would be concerned about damaging the mag. The “thread-in” pullers I’ve always used on bikes are pretty cheap. The one I had for my KX 500 & 250 also works on my YZFs. Obviously if you decide to split your cases to inspect your tranny the flywheel needs to come off (along w/ everything else).

Hope this helps.

  • Scott_Aldahl

Posted February 06, 2002 - 02:53 PM


When you get to the cb gear make sure you check it real good. I had a crack in mine and it needed to be replaced. I should have checked my
cb key earlier.

Good luck


  • Boomer

Posted February 07, 2002 - 11:27 AM


Thanks guys - it's coming apart - right after my Son and I go see MC rip at Indy!!!!!!!!

Go Jeremy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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